Eden Hazard wants to salvage his Real Madrid career but would have no complaints if the club asked him to leave at the end of the season.
The former Chelsea winger has endured a dismal time in Spain, with a string of injuries ruining his hopes of transferring his Premier League form to LaLiga.
Now Hazard has a big chance to show what he can do on a different stage, as he prepares to play a part for Belgium at the World Cup in Qatar.
Set to turn 32 in January, Hazard has managed only two goals and one assist in 15 games for Madrid in 2022, starting a mere four times and playing just 532 minutes in the first team. He has a little over 18 months left on his contract.
Considering Hazard won the Silver Ball at the 2018 World Cup, as the second-best player in the tournament, it has been a staggering descent from main man to bit-part player.
Hazard was Chelsea’s player of the year in his final campaign at Stamford Bridge, the 2018-19 season, and he has backed himself to hit similar heights again, given an injury-free run.
Speaking to Marca, Hazard said: “I have to prove to everyone that I can play football. People have doubts about what I can do, but I don’t.”
He described himself as “a good player who just has to play more football”, and can see why there are those who doubt him.
“It is normal. I am a player who has not played many games in three years. I can understand it,” he said.
“I don’t play, but being a Real Madrid player was my dream as a child and after this year I have another season on my contract. I want to play for this club, with this shirt.”
Designer Eden at your service.
— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils)
All the same, Hazard is a realist and would not want to overstay his welcome.
He says a January move away from Madrid would be “impossible, because I have family and I like the city”.
“But in the summer it is possible that I go,” he said.
“If the club tells me: ‘Eden, thanks for four years, but you have to go’, I have to accept it because it’s normal. But I would like to play more, show more that I can play, that I am a good player.”